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Saturday, February 25th, 2006

Time Event
Merry Maids
I just met with "Karla" from Merry Maids; they'll start service at my apartment on Wednesday. I feel sorta like I'm "giving up" by having someone clean my place. But that's more than offset by the expectation that it'll be, well, *clean*! I mean, I can do rudimentary cleaning just fine, but I'm looking forward to that "sparkly" look that a truly clean bathroom gives off.
The ultimate cookie
I have yet to eat, much less cook, the Ultimate Cookie. But I made some great strides toward the latter this evening, if I may say so. Here's the recipe:

Melt one tablespoon of butter to not quite liquid (ie, to the "easy to mix" state). Add 2 ounces of apple saunce and one whole egg. Mix. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 tbsp salt. Mix. Add about 2 Tbsp of peanut butter. Use something good, like Maranatha (Ingredients: peanuts) and not something cheap with lots of oil. Mix. The peanut butter will eventually dissolve into this mixture, so, don't worry if it's still chunky and such now. Add 1/2 c. white sugar and 3/4 c. (not packed) light brown sugar. Mix. And, by "mix" I mean "with a fork or a whisk or something, not blended to a homogenous goo."

In another bowl sift together 2 1/4 c. flour and 3 Tbsp cocoa. I used Droste cocoa, which is, like, fancy and such. I'm a big believer in getting quality ingredients. I blame my friend Kelly S. for this, though she doesn't know it.

Yes, the sifting: flour, cocoa, and 3/8 tbsp. baking soda. Sift or mix together, but don't worry if it's not homogenous.

Your Wet bowl has been stewing for a minute or so now -- good. Into it dump one bag (12 oz.) of peanut butter chips. I found some by Tropical Source which are the bomb and I highly recommend them. (Hm, interesting -- Tropical Source and Maranatha are owned by the same parent company. Rock on.) Fold the Wet mix over the chips so as to coat them all. The point here is that, before we add the Dry, we want all the chips to be covered in our glue and thus ready to stick together into cookies.

Fold half the Dry mix into the Wet+chips bowl and incorporate to a paste consistency. Add the other half and continue folding. It'll probably be really dry and crumbly, but if you keep at it, if you're lucky, it'll just turn into a great paste. I wasn't so lucky, but I think that's a shortcoming, not a feature. You can add more apple sauce at this point if you're short on something wet, really short. If you're just making cherry sized beads, though, you're close enough (bigger beads would be better, but *shrug*).

Now, "make cookies." If you have a good paste, you can just make drop cookies and be done. If you're dough is more crumbly, then try what I did: roll dough between your palms to form balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Your hands will get _really_ messy doing this. Because, hey, your dough should look a lot like dirt right now, because of the cocoa. But, it'll be worth it. Toss these cookies into a 375F oven for 8 minutes and wait.

After 8 minutes, check in on them. I prefer cookies that are not-quite-cooked on the inside, so I pull cookies out a bit sooner than most people would. On the cooling rack they'll cook a bit more, so the outside will just get hard and set up, but the very core will be a little like cookie dough still. And, with the ball cookies, this effect is even more pronounced, I learned this evening.

Okay, let them cool for a few minutes, and then check one of them out. Break it open -- does it look gooey on the inside? Mine did, just a bit. Taste it. OMG! So good! It's chocolate (cocoa in the dough) and peanut butter (from the chips and from the peanut butter in the dough). And so rich. And so good! My dough this evening stretched to make 20 cookies. There's 18 still on the counter. Mmmm...

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